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Watery eye + lice, mites, worms or something like that around her eye

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

I have 6 hens, 2 of which are bantoms. A week ago the 2 bantoms went broody so we bought them some fertilized eggs to sit on. Everything was fine until today. One of the bantoms has a watery eye and it's closed most of the time. When I looked closer I could see tiny little things crawling around her eye. I don't know if they are lice, mites, worms or something else. They are tiny, about 2-3 mm long in size, thin and white in colour. They DON'T have a head, wings or legs and look more like a thin worm.

I cleaned out the chicken shed (even though I only did it a week ago), then I covered all the chickens with derris dust and I also bathed the bantoms eye with some saline solution and I'm wondering what else I can do ?

I'm worried she may go blind.

Thanks in advance

Dee

post #2 of 21

I am hesitant to say what it might be as you are in australia and your bugs and mites and worms and things can be very different from what we have in the states.

I am going to give this a bump and see if someone in Aus (or elsewhere) can help.

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post #3 of 21

are these IN the eye?

post #4 of 21

Just doing a search online I found this:

http://www.geocities.com/KelliAnn293/parasites.htm#Poultry%20Eye%20Worms

Poultry Eye Worms

This worm is very harmful to poultry in the Southern States of the USA .Hawaii , Philippines and other subtropical areas. It is a small white worm that lodges in the corner of a chicken's eye. The eye becomes swollen, inflamed, and watery. Impairing the chickens vision. The eyelids may stick together and the eye may turn cloudy and eventually be destroyed. The chicken may try to scratch the eye to get rid of the irritation.
Eye worms have a indirect cycle. When the worm deposits the eggs in the eye, they pass into the tear duct, they are then swallowed by the chicken and expelled in droppings, and are eaten by the Surinam cockroaches. When the chicken eats the infective cockroach, worm larvae migrates up the esophagi to the mouth thru the tear duct, and into the eye. Wild birds are also infected, and they help spread the Eye Worm to chicken flocks. To control eye worm you must control the cockroaches around the chicken houses.


NOTE THESE BIRDS IF INFECTED AND HANDLED BY YOU CAN LEAVE THE INFECTION ON YOUR CLOTHING OR SHOES AND YOU WILL CARRY IT HOME, OR YOU WILL BRING IT HOME WITH INFECTED BIRDS.


Be sure and never wear the same shoes or clothing to the bird barn that you wear visiting a bird owners barns.
The eggs of the disease are in the fluid of the eye of the infected bird. The bird carries a high fever and the fancier needs to doctor it immediately. Use a medicine called VETRX and put it directly into the eye, around the eye, down the throat, and in the water. Do this three times the first week and twice the second week and should clear it up. Continue to put the VetRx on the eye for 4 weeks.


Sorry I can't be more help.


Edited by Southern28Chick - 2/5/08 at 5:20am
post #5 of 21

http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/cps/rde/xchg/dpi/hs.xsl/27_2745_ENA_HTML.htm
(Queensland
Gov. Dept-Australia )

in addition to a general description (found in link) treatment section excerpt:
"....Treatment for eyeworm can only be done by a veterinarian as the worm is removed under local anaesthetic...."
(see also the treatment  described in The Merck Veterinary Manual below)

and for control/prevention of spread:
"....Hairworms are carried by earthworms; gizzard worms by grasshoppers, weevils and beetles; tapeworms by slugs, snails, flies, ants and beetles; and the eyeworm by cockroaches. Control these pests when necessary but be careful to only use pesticides registered for the purpose...."
You will need therefore not only to treat your bird, but clean out your poultry housing to prevent other birds from contracting it.

Info from the MERCK Veterinary Manual re treatment:
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/202800.htm
"....As a treatment for Mansons eyeworm, a local anesthetic can be applied to the eye, and the worms in the lacrimal sac exposed by lifting the nictitating membrane. A 5% cresol solution (1-2 drops) placed in the lacrimal sac kills the worms immediately. The eye should be irrigated with sterile water immediately to wash out the debris and excess solution. The eyes improve within 48-72 hr and gradually become clear if the destructive process caused by the parasite is not too far advanced. "


Edited by dlhunicorn - 2/5/08 at 5:47am
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your quick replies. I'll try to give you a bit more info.....

The little wormy looking things are not in the eye, or not that I can see anyway. It looks like they are on the outside around the eye. My husband said they were on her face too but I couldn't see any on her face other than around her eye.

All the other chickens seem fine.

The only other strange behaviour I noticed this morning when I went to feed them and open up the shed was that the other 4 chooks were all on their perches making their usual morning noise ie. "where's my breakfast" noise. Normally they are on the ground of the chook shed at that time in the morning, so I thought it was odd that all 4 of them were on their perches and I didn't read too much into it until I noticed the bantams eye problem.

The weather in Queensland here at the moment is very warm and humid and it's been raining constantly for over a week so the bantams haven't been getting their regular daily dust baths so I think the fact they've been sitting in their nesting boxes for a week in these weather conditions probably hasn't helped matters.

ALSO thanks for that article on Poultry Eye Worms, I did find that one on the internet earlier today. I don't know if that's the problem but the wormy looking things didnt seem to be in the eye, just around it.

Thanks again to everyone - I am about to go to bed now it's almost midnight here, yawn - I will check the replies again first thing in the morning.

Thanks
Dee

post #7 of 21

The only other worm looking things that I can think of are maggots.  Does she have a cut or anything around her eye that they could be eating at?

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi again

I lied, I haven't gone to bed I'm still up doing research and it's now 12.45am.

My husband is convinced that the little parasites are not worms, even though they look like worms because they are so tiny. He seems to think they might be lice.  I have been trying to find photos on the internet of something that looks similar but not having much luck at the moment.

I have ruled out mites because they are brown.

Thanks again, I'm really going to bed now and will continue my research and post an update in the morning.smile

Goodnight.
Dee

post #9 of 21

If they are whitish to clear with a dark speck in the body it is most likely chicken lice.

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post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

Good morning all,

Just been to check on the bantam and most of the little parasites have gone which I think was due to the big dusting of derris dust we put on all the chooks yesterday. There were 3 little things still crawling close to her eye though and we managed to get them off and put them under the microscpope this morning. 

I can confirm they are lice. Two are still really tiny and just white and we can't see any legs or head with the naked eye but under the microscpope you can see them. The third one we pulled off is a different colour, more cream / translucent with a dark brown dot in the middle of the body and you can see quite clearly without the microsope that this one has legs and a head, it's about 3 times the size of the little white ones (so I guess it's more mature).

The batams eye is still closed and when she opens it, it does still look very watery so I'm not sure if I should leave it and see if it clears up on it's own or give her something for it. I will ring around a few vets today to see if they can treat her eye with anything unless anyone has any tips?

Thanks again
Dee

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